When you think of Clayton Kershaw and Ranger Suárez the only similarity that may come to mind is that they are both left-handed pitchers. Kershaw is a nine-time All-Star, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, has a World Series ring, and was the 2014 National League MVP. He is a future Hall of Famer and has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last decade.
Suárez— while posting good numbers for the Phillies over the last two and a half years— is not in the same stratosphere as Kershaw in terms of accolades and career achievements. While Suárez may have a long way to go and may never be comparable to Kershaw over the course of his career, the two left-handers have had fantastic months of June.
Clayton Kershaw continues his dominance
Kershaw became the first pitcher in the National League to win 10 games on Tuesday night. It was the last start in the month of June for the left-hander. The Los Angeles Dodgers' ace finished the month with an impressive stat line.
Kershaw started five games and threw a total of 33 innings in those starts. In those 33 innings, he allowed 21 hits, four earned runs, eight walks, and struck out 30 batters. Kershaw ended the month with an impressive 1.09 ERA.
For the season, Kershaw has been an anchor in the Dodgers injury plagued rotation. He has a 2.55 ERA in 95 1/3 innings. At 35 years old, he has looked like the former Cy Young version of himself.
Ranger Suárez has been an anchor in the Phillies' rotation
Suárez began the 2023 season on the injured list with a forearm injury. He made his season debut on May 13th and struggled with a 9.82 ERA through his first three starts. Due to his lack of a spring and a short rehab stint, his rough start could have been expected.
The month of June has been a complete turnaround for Suárez, however. His stat line is eerily similar to that of Kershaw's. Through five starts Suárez has tossed 33 1/3 innings while allowing 24 hits, four earned runs, eight walks, and struck out 33 opposing hitters. He also posted an ERA of 1.08 in those five starts.
Both pitchers started the same number of games, threw about the same number of innings, walked the same number of batters, and allowed the exact same amount of earned runs. Their ERAs for the month are just one hundredth of a point different.
Ranger Suárez has had a historically good month in Philadelphia Phillies' history
Suárez's month of June is not just impressive in the fact that it lines up with a future Hall of Famer. Suárez has also posted numbers that just ten previous Phillies' pitchers have been able to replicate. Destiny Lugardo from PhilliesNation pointed out that the Phillies' left-hander is the tenth Phillies starter to allow less than one run through six or more innings in one month. The last Phillies pitcher to do this was Aaron Nola in 2018.
Suárez is also the first Phillies' pitcher since Nola in 2018 to post an ERA of 1.10 of below in a single month. Only five other pitchers in Phillies' history have done this since 1966.
After a rough start to the season for the Phillies' rotation, led by Suárez and his fellow starting pitchers have put up impressive numbers to allow the Phillies to have a month of June in which they have already won 16 games.
Maybe Suárez has more similarities to Kershaw than originally thought. Only time will tell.